• DE-Sen: Christine O'Donnell's radio interview on a local station yesterday should answer any doubts about whether or not the new Tea Party fave is ready for prime time (the answer: she isn't). Mostly it's notable for how testy it got, but also for O'Donnell pushing back on rumors that Mike Castle is gay - rumors that apparently no one has ever heard until O'Donnell brought them up in the first place. At any rate, Castle isn't content to just stand back and let her dig her own hole: not wanting to fall into the Lisa Murkowski trap, his camp confirms that his last-minute pre-primary ad buy will be negative against O'Donnell. He also said he won't be debating with (or otherwise even talking to) O'Donnell... ordinarily a safe decision for a quasi-incumbent, but who knows, maybe a mid-debate implosion by O'Donnell would be all Castle needs to put this one away.
• FL-Sen: Charlie Crist's out with an internal today from Fredrick Polls, and while it gives him the lead, it's a small enough edge compared with his rather robust leads pre-Dem primary that it shouldn't fill anybody with much confidence about where his trendlines are headed. He leads Marco Rubio and Kendrick Meek 35-34-17. That comes against the backdrop of getting squeezed in both directions, with the NRSC "pledging" (I don't know what that means, but it's not actual reservations) $2.5 million for the race, and Meek airing a new radio ad going after Crist's GOP past, airing Crist's own words, including calling himself "pro-life" and a "Jeb Bush Republican." At least Crist is getting some backing from one rather unusual corner: state Sen. Al Lawson, who just lost the FL-02 primary to Allen Boyd, just endorsed Crist.
• NY-Sen-B, NY-Gov: Maybe I should've been patient yesterday instead of complaining about Quinnipiac's lack of New York primary numbers, because they rolled them out today. At any rate, they find, as I'd suspected, things tightening in the GOP gubernatorial primary: Rick Lazio leads Carl Paladino 47-35. ("Tightening" may not be the right word, as this is their first look at the NY-Gov primary, but it's what other pollsters have seen.) In the Senate special election, Joe DioGuardi leads David Malpass and Bruce Blakeman, 28-12-10. And in another sign that Democratic voters are only dimly aware that there's an election this year, fully 77% of Dem voters have no idea who they'll vote for in the Attorney General's race. Kathleen Rice leads Eric Schneiderman by a margin of 4-3. (That's not a typo.)
• WI-Sen: Ron Johnson has been outspending Russ Feingold 3-to-1 on the TV airwaves, which goes a long way to explaining why this is a tied race, but that may not matter much if he keeps stepping on his own free-market-fundamentalist message. Johnson found himself, in a recent radio interview, tying himself into knots by praising Communist China for having a more favorable investment climate for business than America, in part because of its "certainty." So, let's see... to stop America's descent into socialism, we need to become more like the Communists, because the path to freedom is actually through the kind of "certainty" that comes from a command economy? Finally, this is probably too little too late, but Terence Wall, the guy who dropped out in a huff from the GOP field after the state convention, is now publicly touting the idea of a write-in campaign in the upcoming primary. I don't know if he actually thinks he has a shot against a stumbling Johnson or is just engaged in some last-minute sour grapes.
• WV-Sen: Joe Manchin continues to rake in the bucks in the West Virginia Senate special election. (Facing self-funding John Raese, the money issue is the main threat to Manchin... well, that, and the perilously low approvals for national Dems here.) He reported raising $393K last week, bringing his total to $1.5 million. Raese reported $717K, but $520K of that was self-funded, with only $22K from donors.
• AZ-Gov: This may not get much press in the wake of her amazing debate performance, but Jan Brewer is also engaged in an interesting strategy of retaliation, pulling her campaign ads off the local CBS affiliate, whose news department dared to question Brewer's relationship with a key advisor who's also connected to private prison company Corrections Corporation of America, which stands to make significant money incarcerating illegal immigrants rounded up under Arizona's SB 1070. That's not the same station whose reporter aggressively questioned Brewer post-debate last night... my advice to Brewer would be to go ahead and stop advertising on all local network affiliates as punishment. That'll show 'em!
• CO-Gov: This may be kind of repetitive, but Dan Maes againturned down calls to drop out of the race today, after former state Senate president John Andrews withdrew his endorsement and told him to get out. Andrews wasn't alone in the endorsement rescinding department: it looks like the whole ooops-no-I-actually-wasn't-an-undercover-cop-in-Kansas thing was the fridge too far for former GOP Senator Hank Brown, who is now saying he's "looking around" for a new candidate. Meanwhile, on the touchy subject of water law, maybe Maes should take a page from Scott McInnis and just plagiarize all his work on the subject, as at least that way he wouldn't appear completely ignorant of the law. He just introduced an entirely new water law doctrine with his proclamation that "If it starts in Colorado, it's our water" - ignoring the 7-state compact on use of Colorado River water and the whole concept of prior appropriation. As much as I'd like to see Jan Brewer using the Arizona National Guard to invade Colorado and reclaim its water, I don't think the courts would let it get to that point.
• FL-Gov: Alex Sink is expanding her current TV advertising buy, throwing another $600K into keeping her introductory spot on the air in a number of non-Miami markets. Oddly, Rick Scott has been taking the week off since the primary, at least from advertising.
• OR-Gov: John Kitzhaber has finally decided to go negative on Chris Dudley... it might be too little too late, but at least he's recognizing what he needs to do (as recently as last week, he negged a DGA ad that went negative on Dudley... and this is the first time he's aired a negative ad since 1994). The ad attacks Dudley for having "never managed anything" and never "shown much interest in Oregon" before (as seen in his decision to live in income-tax-free Washington while playing for the Trail Blazers).
• CT-04: Republican state Sen. Dan Debicella offers up a recent internal poll, via National Research. It has him within 4 points of Rep. Jim Himes, trailing 42-38 (the same 4-point margin seen in the recent round of AAF polling).
• FL-25: Here's an offensive opportunity for House Dems that nobody should be writing off. Joe Garcia posted a lead in a recent internal poll (taken in wake of the primary, and revelations about various unsavory moments from Republican opponent David Rivera's past) for his campaign. Garcia leads by 4 points in the poll from Benenson, 40-36 (with 5 for the Tea Party candidate and 1 for the Whig).
• MO-03: Republican challenger Ed Martin got the endorsement of the Missouri Farm Bureau, a change from their backing of Russ Carnahan in previous cycles. Carnahan didn't show up for his meeting with the Farm Bureau, although it's unclear whether that's why he didn't get endorsed or if he felt the endorsement was already lost.
• NH-02: EMILY's List, Planned Parenthood, and NARAL are all coordinating their efforts in favor of Ann McLane Kuster ahead of the Dem primary in the 2nd, where's she's running against Katrina Swett, who has supported parental notification laws. In addition to a joint rally, they're sending out a joint mailer together.
• PA-12: The NRCC is out with a poll, via POS, of the 12th, giving Tim Burns a small lead in his rematch against special election victor Mark Critz. Burns leads 48-43, quite the reversal from Critz's 53-45 win in May. (Bear in mind that POS's final released poll before that election gave Burns a 2-point lead.)
• AK-Sen: Scott McAdams (D) 44%, Joe Miller (R) 50%
• FL-Gov: Alex Sink (D) 44%, Rick Scott (R) 45%
• WA-Sen: Patty Murray (D-inc) 46%, Dino Rossi (R) 48%
• AK-Gov (R/D): Anything other than slam-dunk wins tonight for incumbent Gov. Sean Parnell and ex-state House Minority Leader Ethan Berkowitz would have to be considered a surprise. Parnell has led his two highest-profile challengers, ex-state House Speaker Ralph Samuels and attorney and ex-Valdez Mayor Bill Walker by huge margins, as has Berkowitz against state Sen. Hollis "October Surprise" French. (JL)
• AK-Sen (R): Could Lisa Murkowski bite it in a intra-party challenge from little-known attorney Joe Miller? In Miller's corner are the Palins, Mike Huckabee, and a half-million from the Tea Party Express. In her corner, Murkowski has the backing of about 1.9 million dead presidents, and a 62-30 lead over Miller in a late July Ivan Moore poll. Of course, that was before the TPX started unloading, but the odds are always long for Some Dudes... (JL)
• AZ-Sen (R): This looked like it was going to be one of the all-time great Republican primary slugfests when it first appeared on the horizon: Mr. Maverick himself, John McCain, versus fiery conservative ex-Rep.-turned-radio-talk-show-host J.D. Hayworth. Some of the initial polling, in fact, was fairly close, before the novelty wore off... but then the novelty wore off, and we were left with three basic realities: a) John McCain had a ton more money than Hayworth and was willing to use it, b) John McCain had absolutely no shame about taking all that Maverick stuff, throwing it in the trash can along with many of his previous policy positions, and remaking himself as a right-wing ideologue in order to survive his primary, and c) J.D. Hayworth is a complete and total clown. The turning point seemed to be the revelation in June that Hayworth had shilled for a Matthew Lesko-style free-government-money infomercial, which destroyed any remaining credibility he may have still had. Polling from July gave McCain leads ranging from 20 to over 40 points. (C)
• AZ-Sen (D): At this point, the Democratic Senate primary in Arizona looks a good bit more unpredictable than the Republican one. The seeming frontrunner is former Tucson vice-mayor Rodney Glassman, a former Raul Grijalva aide and a young up-and-comer with some family money as well. Glassman seemed to have the field to himself after the NRSC's desired candidate, wealthy businesswoman Nan Stockholm Walden, begged off... but once the specter of a race against J.D. Hayworth instead of John McCain appeared, some other late entrants arrived, most notably civil rights activist Randy Parraz and former state Rep. Cathy Eden. What little polling we've seen of this race (a Rasmussen poll from July and a Parraz internal) has given Glassman the lead, but he didn't rise above 20% in either poll. More-frequent polling of the general election has actually given Glassman a good chance against Hayworth... but unfortunately, a McCain match is looking much likelier. (C)
• AZ-01 (R): Eight Republicans have jumped into the race for the right to challenge freshman Dem Ann Kirkpatrick. Notably, rogue dentist Paul Gosar has spent the most, but the field also includes former State Senate majority leader Rusty Bowers and 2008 nominee Sydney Hay (whose abysmal campaign netted her a 56-40 defeat). Gosar seems to have most of the establishment support, including endorsements from the Grizzly Momma and (even though the district doesn't enter it) Maricopa County Sheriff and xenophobe extraordinaire Joe Arpaio. Gosar's internal polling has him in the lead, ahead of Hay by a 30-10 margin. Primary voters would be doing themselves a favor by not nominating Hay; we'll see if Gosar can live up to his polling. (JMD)
• AZ-03 (R): Crowded GOP primaries seem to be the norm in Arizona, with a 10-man field for the open seat of retiring GOPer John Shadegg. Several qualify beyond Some Dude status, including former northern Phoenix State Rep. Sam Crump, former State Senator Pamela Gorman (who represented the same district as Crump), former northern Phoenix/Scottsdale State Senator Jim Waring, attorney Paulina Morris, Paradise Valley Mayor Vernon Parker, and Parker's predecessor as Mayor, Ed Winkler. The two largest warchests, however, belong to Ben "Son of Potatoe" Quayle and self-funding businessman Steve Moak. Moak and Quayle have gone hard after each other, with recent revelations about Quayle's history with what eventually became TheDirty.com taking their toll and Quayle's responses being, perhaps hereditarily, ineffectual. Moak seems ready to occupy the vacuum that Quayle's implosion has left, but the sheer number of credible candidates leaves room for surprise. (JMD)
• AZ-05 (R): Two-term Dem Harry Mitchell will face one of five GOPers, a field that includes a rematch between 2008 candidates David Schweikert and Susan Bitter Smith. Schweikert prevailed then by a 1,000-vote margin out of 48,000 cast and went on to a 53-44 loss to Mitchell. Complicating this rematch are other credible candidates in doctor Chris Salvino and self-funded businessman Jim Ward, both of whom have outraised and outspent Bitter Smith. Schweikert seems to have assumed frontrunner status, going as far as cancelling his last-minute ad buy...before opting in for one again. Will Schweikert's hubris come to haunt him today? (JMD)
• AZ-08 (R): In a common pattern that we've seen this cycle, the primary for the right to challenge sophomore Dem Gabby Giffords has a clear establishment v. outsider rift. However, there is only one teabagger here, Jesse Kelly, who squares off against the "establishment's" former Tucson-area State Senator, Jonathan Paton. Perhaps owing to the fact that there's only one teabaggish-type here, Kelly seems to be favored against Paton, posting a hefty 36-17 lead in recent polling. However, this poll was taken before third wheel Brian Miller headed for the exit, endorsing Paton on his way out. Given Miller's low share of support and Kelly's sole claim to the Holy Teabag, we might finally see the upset of an NRCC golden child here. (JMD)
• FL-Gov (R): All good things must indeed come to an end - and I am going to be very sad when this primary is over. Until mid-April of this year, Bill McCollum, the colorless, unlikeable, ambiguously hairpieced state AG and former House impeachment manager, at least had one thing to keep his sorry ass happy at night: He was guaranteed to be the Republican nominee for governor of Florida. Then, a funny thing happened: Zillionaire asshole Rick Scott decided he wanted the nod more - a whole lot more. In fact, about $40 million more, which is what he and allied groups (aka his wife's checkbook) have spent on the race. McCollum and his allies (if you can imagine such a thing), undoubtedly stunned to have to start spending so early, have fired back, but they've only mustered some $14 million. (Check out this great graphic of both camps' spending.)
Anyhow, this race has gone more negative than googolplex divided by minus one. There isn't much consensus among pollsters on how much damage has been done to both candidates (some show McCollum with worse favorables, others show Scott deep in the doghouse), but I'm going to guess the answer is "a lot." There's also some divergence over who the frontrunner actually is. For a while there, Billy Mac's toplines utterly bombed - you can almost see him in his kitchen, sobbing into his cornflakes, as your eyes traverse that mid-July nosedive. But the problem with zillionaire assholes is that it's very hard for them to stop being zillionaire assholes, and they've also probably done quite a few somethings to deserve that reputation in the first place. McCollum's hit Scott hard over his ultra-shady past in the healthcare business, and while we can't say for sure, it seems to have turned the race around. Most recent polls have show McCollum taking back the lead, with PPP's seven-point Scott lead the main outlier.
It's hard to know whom to root for, though. Do we take Scott, with his deeply tarnished background but willingness to spend every last dime, or McCollum, with his coffers depleted but less scandal-plagued and still the establishment favorite? I think we have to be happy no matter what happens. And either way, I can hear the sound of that cat fud tin popping open: McCollum's already saying it would be "very difficult" for him to endorse Scott should he lose. Let's only hope Scott is willing to return the favor! Anyhow, this one was definitely a primary for the ages. God bless you, Florida Republicans. (D)
• FL-Sen (D): Forget the actual Democratic candidates in this race -- the real star of the summer-long Florida Democratic primary saga was not a person, but an inanimate object: Summerwind, the notorious party yacht belonging to billionaire scuzzball Jeff Greene (also known as the Levi Johnston of boats). If there was one factor that helped turn this race upside-down, it was the steady barrage of drug-fueled, vomit-caked, and used condom-strewn stories of Jeff Greene's adventures on the high seas. Those stories, along with a barrage of hits against Greene's shady practices as a derivatives pioneer, have completely stunted Greene's momentum and returned the lead to congressman Kendrick Meek. A Meek primary win undoubtedly complicates things for Charlie Crist, who has to hope that he can marginalize the Democratic nominee in order to drink their milkshake steal their votes in November, but three-way races are notoriously difficult to forecast. (Oh, and as a footnote, technically, ex-Miami Mayor Maurice Ferre is still in this race, but his campaign has been totally eclipsed by the Jeff Greene freakshow.) (JL)
• FL-02 (D/R): Despite that Rep. Allen Boyd is a pretty entrenched Blue Dog facing a potentially hard race in November in this GOP-leaning Panhandle district, the real race to watch tonight is the Democratic primary. Boyd faces a challenge from the left from term-limited state Senate majority leader Al Lawson. Lawson isn't a raging liberal himself (and, unlike many Dem primary challenges this year, Boyd deprived him of a key piece of ammo by voting "yes" on the second round of health care reform), but he's hoping that the fact that the district's Democratic electorate, which is substantially African-American, can keep him competitive with the much-better-funded Boyd. Lawson posted a small lead in an internal poll way back in Nov. 2009, but we haven't heard any polling details about the primary since then. The likeliest GOP nominee is funeral home owner Steve Southerland, whose fundraising has been adequate enough for the NRCC's Young Guns program and who even put out an internal also showing him leading Boyd. However, there are four other even-less-known GOPers standing in Southerland's way in the primary (with David Scholl the best fundraiser of the bunch, although even he hasn't broken into the six digits). (C)
• FL-05 (R): I don't know about you, but I've got a bad case of Cat Scratch Fever, and there's only one cure... a primary victory tonight by the Rock 'n' Roll Sheriff, the Hernando County Madman, the Ten Terrible Fingers of Local Law Enforcement: Richard Nugent. Current Republican Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite, facing only an uneventful challenge from teabagger Jason Sager (whose impetus for getting into the race was Brown-Waite's support for Dede Scozzafava!), unexpectedly bailed out on filing day, letting her designated successor Nugent pick up the flag and sneak into office without a top-drawer Republican opponent, of which there are potentially many in this red district. Nugent still has to get past Sager, though; we'll have to see if Sager is beneficiary of people's discontent over the "selection process." (C)
• FL-08 (R): Rep. Alan Grayson should be a tempting target, given his shoot-from-the-hip style and his freshman-in-a-swing-district status, but his huge stash of netroots cash seemed an active deterrent as the NRCC tried vainly to find a top-tier recruit. Eventually, they settled on businessman Bruce O'Donoghue, who had some self-funding potential, as their go-to guy. Unfortunately, one of the other guys they'd been unenthusiastically flirting with, social conservative state Rep. Kurt Kelly, decided he was going to get in anyway, and that was compounded by the fact that attorney/talk radio host Todd Long, who nearly beat then-Rep. Ric Keller in the '08 GOP primary, wasn't going away. Finally, the guy they wanted all along but who initially blew them off, state Sen. Daniel Webster, decided he wanted to run after all, but came back much too belatedly to clear the field or even get much of a fundraising foothold. Webster does have some key backers (Mike Huckabee, Jeb Bush), but with not so much as a leaked internal of the primary from any of the players, there's no clue as to whether he'll emerge from tonight's primary. (C)
• FL-17 (D): This nine-way primary to succeed Kendrick Meek has largely been off the national radar - and that's too bad, because it probably represented a good chance for progressive groups to get involved, seeing as it's an 87% Obama district. In any event, the race features several elected officials, a local community figure, and one wealthy self-funder with a proverbial "colorful past," Rudy Moise. The only recent poll of the race was taken on behalf of a group supporting activist Marleine Bastien, which had her at 22, while state Sen. Frederica Wilson was at 21. Moise was back at 10, and Miami Gardens Mayor Shirley Gibson was at 9. No one (apart from Moise) has raised much, with state Rep. Yolly Robertson leading the pack at $336K. The Miami Herald has a helpful run-down on each of the candidates in this wide-open race. (D)
• FL-24 (R): National Republicans have run through a succession of favored candidates in this primary, starting with former Winter Park Commissioner Karen Diebel. Diebel turned out to be crazy (in a call to 911 a few years ago, she said political opponents placed a snake in her pool - and were spying on her home and hacking her computer), so attention turned to state Rep. Sandy Adams. Adams, however, turned out to be a sucky fundraiser, so the GOP recruited Ruth's Chris Steakhouse chief Craig Miller, a first-time candidate. Miller has self-funded less than you might have expected (only about $350K), which might explain his last-minute mailer attacking Diebel's sanity over the Snakes In A Pool incident. If Miller hasn't in fact sealed the deal, then race could be very much up in the air, especially since we haven't seen any recent polling. (D)
• FL-25 (R): State Rep. David Rivera, despite a week of horrible press, is still the favorite for the Republican nomination to succeed district-hopping GOP Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, but it will still be interesting to see if any of the ugly headlines will make a dent at the ballot box. First, we learned that Rivera once ran a truck off the road back in 2002 because it was carrying flyers printed for his opponent, in the hopes of preventing it from reaching the post office on time. Next, Rivera's Republican opponents have resurrected allegations that Rivera was involved in a domestic violence dispute. Damaging as stories like those may be, Rivera enjoys a huge fundraising lead over attorney Mariana "Marili" Cancio and Marine Corps veteran and public-relations consultant Paul Crespo. The real fireworks will have to wait for November, where the GOP nominee will face Tea Partier Roly Arrojo, Whig nominee (!!) Craig Porter, and '08 candidate Joe Garcia, who is the heavy favorite to beat union leader Luis Meurice for the Democratic nod tonight. (JL)
• OK-02 (R): The last we checked in on this race, underfunded GOPers Charles Thompson and Daniel Edmonds received 34% and 28% respectively, setting the stage for a runoff. Both candidates seem to have improved their financial position, with Edmonds now able to claim $1,300 in his campaign account and Thompson up to a whopping $13k! Given this, whoever stumbles out of the runoff tomorrow will end up quite the underdog to incumbent (and oft-frustrating) Dem Dan Boren. (JMD)
• OK-05 (R): In the first round, Christian camp director Jim Lankford edged out establishment pick former State Rep. Kevin Calvey, 34-32, a development that left some at NRCC headquarters scratching their heads. Third-place finisher State Rep. Mike Thompson, who earned 18%, has endorsed Lankford and not his former colleague. This just might give Lankford's more grassroots-oriented campaign the extra push it needs to overcome Calvey's financial advantage; since we last checked in, Calvey's plunked out $780k's to Lankfords $415k. While November in this district won't likely be exciting, true SwingNuts would never give up a chance to see egg on the NRCC's face. (JMD)
• VT-Gov (D): Democrats have a challenge ahead of them in knocking off reasonably well-liked Republican Brian Dubie in November, but they have a giant, five-way primary to get through first. The players include former Lt. Gov. Doug Racine, Secretary of State Deb Markowitz, state Sens. Peter Shumlin and Susan Bartlett, and ex-state Rep. Matt Dunne. Markowitz and Shumlin have had the strongest fundraising, while Bartlett has raised the least of the major players. Without any public polling of the Democratic primary -- or even a leaked internal -- it's impossible to say what will happen here. (JL)
• AR-Sen (pdf): One more poll added to Blanche Lincoln's woes today. It's from Republican pollster Magellan, and unlike a number of their polls lately that have been sua sponte, this one is on behalf of the conservative Judicial Crisis Network. It gives John Boozman a 60-29 lead over Lincoln. Lincoln decided to put a stop to the string of polls showing her DOA, by (taking a page from Raul Labrador here) releasing her own internal from Benenson showing her, well, only a little bit dead. It has her trailing Boozman "only" 45-36, with 6 going to indie Trevor Drown.
• KS-Sen, KS-Gov: SurveyUSA looks at the statewide primaries in Kansas yet again, and, as usual, finds Rep. Jerry Moran with a big lead over fellow Rep. Todd Tiahrt in the GOP Senate primary, 50-36 (which is actually an improvement for Tiahrt; the last SUSA poll was 53-33). College professor Lisa Johnston continues to lead the Dem Senate primary at 23, with 14 for Charles Schollenberger and 12 for state Sen. David Haley. The GOP gubernatorial primary continues to be a non-event, with Sam Brownback leading Joan Heffington 73-19.
• NE-Sen (pdf): Magellan, on behalf of JCN, is also out with a poll of the 2012 Senate race, presumably intended to scare Ben Nelson into voting against Elena Kagan. At this rate, it may not matter how he votes on Kagan or anything else: if he runs again, Nelson is losing to GOP Gov. Dave Heineman 58-28.
• NH-Sen: The Paul Hodes campaign continues to hit Kelly Ayotte over her being asleep at the switch on mortgage fraud with another ad on the topic. It's a $100K ad buy, and it's going up in Boston, meaning that it'll hit a lot of eyeballs (but also that that $100K gets burned through pretty quickly).
• PA-Sen: Joe Sestak has been fighting with local TV stations over them airing an ad from a conservative group attacking him on Israel policy. Now he's getting some backing from liberal Israel policy group J Street, who are running a new TV spot saying he "consistently votes for aid to Israel." NWOTSOTB, but it is running "in major media markets."
• SC-Sen: Green, not Greene? The Columbia area AFL-CIO must not have been impressed with Alvin Greene's first major policy speech last weekend, because now they've rolled out their endorsement of Green Party candidate Tom Clements instead.
• WI-Sen (pdf): But wait, there's more! With your purchase of these fine AR-Sen and NE-Sen polls, you also get a bonus WI-Sen poll, perfect for triggering one of Russ Feingold's patented flashes of maverickiness. Magellan, on behalf, of JCN, also finds Feingold leading Ron Johnson 45-43.
• CT-Gov: Dan Malloy got the endorsement of the six state affiliates of the SEIU in Connecticut, a key union endorsement. Ned Lamont isn't hurting for union backing, though; he has the support of the Connecticut Education Association, the UAW, and the UFCW.
• MI-Gov: The Detroit News poll from yesterday also had a Democratic primary component to it. They find, with only weeks to go, Undecided still in the lead at 40. Andy Dillon leads Virg Bernero 34-25. 44% of respondents haven't heard of Bernero, while 26% don't know Dillon. On the GOP side, this may give some more moderate cred to Rick Snyder: he got the endorsement of ex-Rep. Joe Schwarz, who had briefly considered an independent run for Governor himself.
• MT-Gov: GOPers already have a candidate for Governor in 2012 in Montana, where Brian Schweitzer is termed out. Republican former state Senate minority leader Corey Stapleton just announced his bid. The article mentions some other possibilities too, including long-ago ex-Rep. Rick Hill on the GOP side. AG Steve Bullock may be the Dems' best bet.
• FL-02: Politico has a profile of Rep. Allen Boyd, who's getting squeezed both left and right as he first faces state Sen. Al Lawson in the Dem primary and then faces funeral home owner Steve Southerland. Boyd's response? To play "offense," including going negative in TV ads against Lawson. Boyd's already spent $1.9 million this cycle, and still has many times more CoH than his two opponents together.
• NY-15: Buried deep in a Hill article about how Chuck Schumer is still standing up for Charles Rangel when no one else will, kicking him a $10K check for his re-election, is a noteworthy poll of the Dem primary. The poll was conducted by PPP, and was paid for by Democrats.com; it finds Rangel with a not-very-imposing lead of 39-21 over Adam Clayton Powell IV in the primary.
• NY-23: After being the flavor of the month for, well, a month or so prior to last fall's NY-23 special election, Doug Hoffman seems to have fallen off most people's radars. He wants you to know he's still around, though, and just released an internal poll from McLaughlin & Associates that gives him a sizable lead over Matt Doheny (who has most of the local GOP establishment backing) in the GOP primary. He leads Doheny 52-20. Bear in mind, of course, that Hoffman already has the Conservative line and Doheny has the IP line, meaning they're going to meet in the general election (and spoil each other's days) either way.
• TN-09: Finally, here's a poll of the Dem primary in the 9th. It looks like former Memphis mayor Willie Herenton is having the same trouble playing the race card that Nikki Tinker did in 2008; he's trailing Steve Cohen by a 65-15 margin. The poll's not an internal, taken by Yacoubian Research for WMC-TV, but there's one reason to raise an eyebrow at it: it screens voters by asking them if they're in the 9th District (and how many people in the real world know the number of their congressional district?).
• CT-Sen: Richard Blumenthal (D) 53%, Linda McMahon (R) 40%
• CT-Sen: Richard Blumenthal (D) 52%, Peter Schiff (R) 34%
• CT-Sen: Richard Blumenthal (D) 52%, Rob Simmons (R) 38%
• ID-Sen: Tom Sullivan (D) 27%, Mike Crapo (R-inc) 64%
• ME-Gov: Libby Mitchell (D) 31%, Paul LePage (R) 39%, Eliot Cutler (I) 15%
• OH-Sen: Lee Fisher (D) 39%, Rob Portman (R) 45%
• CO-Sen: Colorado's state party conventions are this weekend. Most of the drama is on the Democratic side in the Senate race -- actually, even there, it's not that dramatic, as underdog Andrew Romanoff is expected to prevail at the convention because of his connections to party insiders and his former fellow legislators (and also based on his performance at precinct-level caucuses). Michael Bennet is still expected to meet the 30% threshold that gets him on the ballot without signatures, though, and victory here for Romanoff may be pyrrhic anyway, as the Dem convention winners have fared poorly in the actual primary (ex-Sen. Ken Salazar, for instance, lost the 2004 convention to Mike Miles). The GOP convention should be less interesting because, realizing they have little hope among the revved-up base, establishment-flavored Jane Norton and Tom Wiens aren't bothering, simply opting to qualify for the primary by petition, so Weld Co. DA and Tea Party fave Ken Buck is expected to romp.
• CT-Sen, CT-Gov: Likewise, the state conventions are scheduled for this weekend in Connecticut as well. Although there's a competitive battle in the Dem convention on the gubernatorial side between Ned Lamont and Dan Malloy, it seems like all eyes will be on Richard Blumenthal instead, to see if there's any sort of challenge to him that pops up (other than the minor candidacy of Merrick Alpert). If someone is going to get drafted as a last-minute Blumenthal replacement, it doesn't look like it's going to be the newly-freed-up Susan Bysiewicz, who, seemingly caught off-guard by this week's Supreme Court ruling about her AG eligibility, is now saying she won't run for anything in 2010. There's also the Senate face-off in the GOP convention, where ex-Rep. Rob Simmons' connections and institutional support will be measured up against Linda McMahon's gigantic wealth; McMahon, for her part, is back to touting her camp's leak of the Blumenthal story to the NYT after hiding it yesterday.
• FL-Sen: Charlie Crist couldn't square his support for Elena Kagan today with his opposition to Sonia Sotomayor, telling the Miami Herald that he really couldn't recall why he opposed Sotomayor. (Um, maybe because he was a Republican back then?) On the plus side, Crist is coming out in favor of the Fair Districts initiatives on the ballot this November, which would smooth out the most pernicious tendencies toward gerrymandering and thus is strongly opposed by the state's large Republican legislative majorities.
• IL-Sen: Hmmm, I wonder where this ranks on the hierarchy of misstating your military credentials? Rep. Mark Kirk told a gathering last May that "I command the war room in the Pentagon." Kirk does have a high-profile role in the National Military Command Center, but the war room is run by one-star general, and that's something that Kirk most definitely is not. Let's see what the NYT does with this one.
• KY-Sen: After a bad news day yesterday, Rand Paul is continuing to run his mouth, whining about how he was supposed to get a media honeymoon after Tuesday's Randslide, and also going the full Bachmann against Barack Obama, saying it "sounds Unamerican" for him to be criticizing BP over its massive oil spill because "accidents sometimes happen." (So that "B" in BP stands for American Petroleum now?) Paul is scheduled for this weekend's Meet the Press, for what his handlers hope is damage control but may turn into extended hole-digging.
Paul also expounded yesterday on the Americans with Disabilities Act, and he should be lucky the media were too fixated yesterday on his Civil Rights Act statements to provide any fact-checking about his bizarre ignorance of the ADA. Paul's example of the ADA's suckage is that it would be reasonable, if an employee used a wheelchair at a two-story business, to just give that person a first-floor office instead of forcing the employer to install an elevator at terrible cost. That's true; it would be "reasonable" -- which is exactly why the ADA asks employers to provide "reasonable accommodation" to disabled employees, a prime example of which might be letting someone work on a lower floor. Removal of architectural barriers is not required if it isn't "readily achievable" (in other words, easily accomplished, without much difficulty or expense) -- which means, grab bars in the bathroom stall or a curb cut, yes, an elevator in an old two-story building, no. Paul's attack on the ADA seems entirely based on having failed to, as the teabaggers have often urged us to do, "read the bill."
• NC-Sen: There's a late-in-the-game shakeup at the Cal Cunningham camp, as his campaign manager and communications director are out the door. Cunningham's spokesperson says it's a necessary retooling for the different nature of the runoff, with less focus on the air war and more on grassroots and shoe-leather.
• PA-Sen: Sigh. The DSCC, which isn't exactly rolling in money these days, spent $540K in coordinated expenditures trying to prop up one-year Democrat Arlen Specter in his 54-46 loss to Joe Sestak in the primary.
• MN-Gov: Margaret Anderson Kelliher reached across the aisle, or at least in the pool of bipartisan budget wonkery, for a running mate, picking John Gunyou. Gunyou was the finance commissioner for Republican Gov. Arne Carlson; he also worked as finance director for Minneapolis mayor Don Fraser and is currently city manager of the suburb of Minnetonka.
• CO-07: The GOP already had its district-level convention in the 7th, as a prelude to the statewide convo. The two main rivals, Lang Sias and Ryan Frazier, both cleared the 30% mark to get on the ballot; the minor candidates didn't clear the mark and won't try to get on by petition. Frazier got 49%, while Sias got 43%. Sias's nomination was seconded by ex-Rep. Tom Tancredo, as well as the 7th's former Rep. Bob Beauprez.
• CT-04: Thom Hermann, the First Selectman of Easton and a guy with a lot of wealth at his disposal, is making his presence known in the GOP primary field in the 4th, heading into the weekend's convention. He's out with an internal poll, via Wilson Research, giving him a large lead over presumed frontrunner state Sen. Dan Debicella among those primary voters who've decided. It's reported in a strange, slightly deceptive way, though: he has a 44-25 lead over Debicella among those who've decided, but only 36% have decided! (So by my calculations, it's more like a 16-9 lead in reality?)
• FL-02: Dem Rep. Allen Boyd seems to be taking nothing for granted this year. He's already up with his second TV ad against his underfunded primary opponent, state Sen. Al Lawson, this time hitting Lawson for votes to cut back funding for healthcare and construction jobs. (J)
• HI-01: We're up to 48% of all ballots having been returned in the 1st, with tomorrow being the deadline in the all-mail-in special election to replace Neil Abercrombie (152K out of 317K).
• ID-02: I have no idea what this is about, but I thought I'd put it out there, as it's one of the weirdest IEs we've seen in a while. Not only did someone plunk down $8K for polling in the 2nd, one of the most reliably Republican top-to-bottom districts anywhere where Rep. Mike Simpson only ever faces token opposition, but the money's from the American Dental Association. Making sure Idahoans are brushing properly?
• IN-03: State Sen. Marlin Stutzman made it official today: he's running in the special election for the seat just vacated by Rep. Mark Souder. Having performed well in the Senate primary (and having had a path cleared for him by Mike Pence's lowering of the boom on Souder), he looks like the one to beat here.
• PA-07: Former local TV news anchor Dawn Stensland has decided to forego a vaguely-threatened independent run in the 7th. That leaves it a one-on-one battle between Dem Bryan Lentz and GOPer Pat Meehan.
• PA-12: The GOP seems to have settled on its preferred explanation for trying to spin away its underwhelming performance in the special election in the 12th, via their polling guru Gene Ulm. It's all Ed Rendell's fault, for scheduling it on the same day as the Senate primary, causing all those Joe Sestak supporters (of which there were many in that corner in Pennsylvania) to come out of the woodwork and vote in the 12th while they were at it.
• Unions: Now that's a lot of lettuce. Two major unions are promising to spend almost $100 million together to preserve Democratic majorities this fall. The AFSCME is promising $50 million and the SEIU is planning $44 million.
• Enthusiasm Gap: This is something I've often suspected, but never felt like bringing up because the numbers weren't there to prove the point (and also perhaps because saying so would put me at odds with the general netroots orthodoxy): the Democratic "enthusiasm gap" isn't so much borne out of dissatisfaction with the insufficient aggressiveness of the Obama administration or the slow pace of getting watered-down legislation out of Congress as much as it's borne out of complacency. In other words, there's the sense by casual/irregular/low-information Dem voters that they did their job in 2008, got the country back on track, things are slowly improving, and because they aren't angry anymore they don't need to keep following up. PPP backs this up: among those "somewhat excited " or "not very excited" about voting in November, Obama's approval is a higher-than-average 58/35, and their supports for the health care bill is also a higher-than-average 50/38.
• Tonight's Preview: Tonight's something of a small palate-cleanser in between the meaty primaries of last Tuesday and next Tuesday. The main event is WV-01, where there are competitive primaries on both sides of the aisle. Most of the attention is focused on the Democratic side, though, where Rep. Alan Mollohan could be the first House incumbent to get bounced out this cycle. Despite already being rather conservative, he's been challenged from the right by state Sen. Mike Oliverio, who's attacking Mollohan over not fighting hard enough against cap and trade, and for his earmarking. Both camps have released internal polls giving them the lead. On the GOP side, there's a three-way fight between the establishment fave, former state Rep. and state GOP chair David McKinley, former state Sen. Sarah Minear, and businessman Mac Warner. Warner has gotten nailed for tax liens on his businesses, but may benefit from the infighting between the two others. Polls in WV close at 7:30 pm ET.
The special election to replace Nathan Deal in GA-09 is also tonight. With Democrats a non-factor in this R+28 district, but a crowded field of various Republicans, the likeliest outcome is a June 8 runoff between the top two conservative Republicans, most likely former state Rep. Tom Graves (the Club for Growth and FreedomWorks pick) and former state Sen. Lee Hawkins (who seems to generate less enthusiasm on the ground but who has some geographical advantages). TheUnknown285 also points out a handful of other legislative special elections in Georgia today, all of which are very unlikely to change hands; the most interesting may be in SD-42, where Jimmy Carter's grandson may be able to take over a blue seat in Atlanta's suburbs.
Finally, two other things you might watch, if you want to get way down in the weeds: Nebraska is the only other state with regularly scheduled primaries for today, although the only one worth a look is the GOP side in NE-02, where Rep. Lee Terry faces a teabagger with some money, Matt Sakalosky. Terry is likely to win, but the margin will be worth watching, as he's one of the Dems' few offense targets this year. And New Jersey has a host of mayoral elections today. The big name here is Newark's Cory Booker, expected to face no trouble with re-election; an open seat in Trenton may provide some interest, though.
UPDATE: Marcus in comments points out a big miss on my part: the state Senate seat in Massachusetts left vacant by Scott Brown is up for special election tonight, too. (Rather than a boring number, it has a name: "Norfolk, Bristol, and Middlesex." Still not quite as mellifluous as a lot of the British constituencies that we all got a crash course in last week though... especially "Vale of Glamorgan.") Democratic physician Peter Smulowitz (a netroots fave who won an upset in the primary) faces off against GOP state Rep. Richard Ross. There's also a safe blue seat up tonight that will shortly belong to Dem Sal DiDomenico.
• NH-Sen: It looks like those missing Kelly Ayotte e-mails, which are at the center of the growing questions surrounding the collapse of Financial Resources Mortgage and what the AG's office did (or didn't) do, may be retrievable after all via backup systems. State legislative hearings into the matter are beginning on Friday, so this issue could get bigger in coming weeks.
• NY-Sen, NY-Gov (pdf): Marist has a slew of data out of New York, all of it good for the Dems. Kirsten Gillibrand breaks 50% against all of her GOP contenders, leading Joe DioGuardi 50-30, Bruce Blakeman 52-28, and David Malpass 52-28. DioGuardi leads the GOP primary at 31, to 13 for Blakeman and 12 for Malpass. Chuck Schumer also has little trouble with his one announced opponent, Jay Townsend; he leads 66-27. On the gubernatorial side, Andrew Cuomo wins just as convincingly. He leads Rick Lazio 65-25, Steve Levy 63-25, and Carl Paladino 67-22.
• PA-Sen, PA-Gov (pdf): Today's Muhlenberg tracker sustains the Joe Sestak lead over Arlen Specter, at 47-43. In the gubernatorial race, Anthony Williams seems to be emerging as the closest rival to Dan Onorato; Onorato still has a big edge, though, leading Williams 33-15 with Joe Hoeffel at 10 and Jack Wagner at 9. Word is that Franklin & Marshall will also have a poll out tomorrow giving Sestak the edge. Barack Obama appears in the newest TV ad on Specter's behalf, but it sounds less likely that Obama, always careful about overextending his political capital, will be actually showing up to campaign for Specter. Finally, if you haven't already, it's worth a look at Chris Bowers' analysis of Specter vs. Sestak on general election electability (as you might expect, it boils down to Specter being universally-known and Sestak having the upside).
• UT-Sen: Bob Bennett still isn't ruling out a write-in candidacy in November, and will continue to weigh his options. Bob, for what it's worth, everyone here at SSP agrees that a write-in candidacy would be pure awesome.
• WA-Sen: Some more investment sleaze-by-association for Dino Rossi. He was one of the initial investors who established the Eastside Commercial Bank in 2001, a bank that's currently teetering on the edge after the FDIC required it to raise another $3 million in the wake unsound lending practices. He didn't have any managerial control over the bank, but it's one more paper cut for Rossi.
• CT-Gov: Former Stamford mayor Dan Malloy announced his running mate choice today: state Comptroller Nancy Wyman. Rival Ned Lamont chose Simsbury First Selectwoman Mary Glassman (Malloy's 2006 running mate) last week.
• OR-Gov, OR-Sen: SurveyUSA is out with a whole new gubernatorial primary poll (the one that got released last week was taken nearly a month ago; I'm not sure what the delay was about). Although the number of undecideds is dropping, the margins between the candidates is staying pretty much the same. For the Dems, John Kitzhaber is leading Bill Bradbury 59-25. On the GOP side, Chris Dudley leads Allen Alley 42-24 (while hopeless third and fourth wheels John Lim and Bill Sizemore are at 8 each). They also threw in Senate primary numbers, finding that Ron Wyden is pulling in 80% against some nobodies on the Dem side while the GOP side is a big question mark. Law professor Jim Huffman (the establishment's choice to be sacrificial lamb) is at 20, while some dude Tom Stutzman isn't that far behind at 13.
• FL-02: Here's a race that wasn't on anyone's competitive list that's suddenly bursting into view. An NRCC internal poll (by the Tarrance Group) that's from mid-April but just got leaked to Chris Cillizza has no-name funeral home director Steve Southerland leading Rep. Allen Boyd, and not just squeaking it out, but up by a 52-37 margin. Boyd has a huge cash edge ($1.5 mil to Southerland's $157K), although he'll need to spend some first fighting a primary challenge against Al Lawson.
• HI-01: With news that the DCCC is pulling out, and polls giving a small but consistent edge to Charles Djou in the f'd-up jungle-style special election, SSP is moving our rating of this race to "Leans Republican" from "Tossup."
• MI-01: Amidst all the hullaballoo over Connie Saltonstall's dropout yesterday (wait, what's the opposite of "hullaballoo?" how about "yawning?"), we missed another detail in the Democratic primary to succeed Bart Stupak: so too did Matt Gillard. That leaves state Rep. Gary McDowell as the only candidate left in the field, on this the last day of Michigan filings. That was easy.
• MN-06: We at SSP love us some taxes, but we're also big fans of a certain something called "optics," and state Senate DFLers created a mammoth screwup that, appearance-wise, really harms Taryl Clark's chances against Michele Bachmann. Clark got stuck holding the Marjorie Margolies-Mezvinsky bag after she wound up casting the deciding vote in favor of a deficit-closing package that includes an income tax increase, after the vote was held open for her for 20 minutes deadlocked at 33-33. It may be a moot point as Tim Pawlenty has promised to veto, but still... (In her defense, Clark says she was delayed by a phone call with her son's doctor.)
• NJ-03: Jon Runyan is getting accused of a "Rose Garden" strategy of campaigning in the GOP primary, sitting still and trading on his inevitability instead of, y'know, actually going out and debating with conservative opponent Justin Murphy. The John Adler camp is noticing too, and is out with their own "Where's Jon?" video.
• RI-01: There's a third contender in the Democratic primary to take over the 1st from retiring Rep. Patrick Kennedy. State Rep. David Segal is getting into the race, joining Providence mayor David Cicilline and former state Dem party chair William Lynch.
• WA-03: You keep hearing from Beltway media that state Rep. Jaime Herrera is the person to beat in the GOP primary for this open seat, but other than ex-Sen. Slade Gorton and her ex-boss, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rogers, I'm hard-pressed to think of any endorsements of consequence for her. David Castillo has lined up most of the local support within the 3rd, and now he got endorsements from a variety of local leaders in the evangelical community, including Joe Fuiten (probably the most prominent Christian right leader in Washington) and ex-Rep. Randy Tate (who briefly led the national Christian Coalition after getting bounced out of office).
• WI-07: Here's another primary in the north woods where the Dems seem to have coalesced and it's all over but the shouting. At the same time as state Sen. Julie Lassa was officially announcing that she'd run to succeed retiring Rep. David Obey, fellow state Sens. Russ Decker and Pat Kreitlow announced they wouldn't run. Perhaps making the difference: Lassa's seat isn't up for re-election this year, so it's a freebie for her, while Decker and Kreitlow's seats are up. With Dems holding an 18-15 margin in the Senate and the GOP on the offensive, it's the safe choice not to open up seats in the Senate too.
• NRSC: Hmmm, speaking of optics, the NRSC is hosting an "intimate" (Hotline's words; I don't know if that's how the NRSC billed it) fundraiser with the under-investigation John Ensign as host. No word yet on whether anyone plans to show up.
• DE-AG: Best wishes for a quick recovery to Beau Biden, who's currently hospitalized today after a minor stroke. The 41-year-old Biden, who passed on a Senate race this year, is expected to fully recover.
CA-Sen: Moose lady endorses sheep lady. Is chicken lady next?
KY-Sen: With the primary less than two weeks away, Jack Conway's throwing in another $300K of his own money.
OH-Sen: Gov. Ted Strickland thinks that Jennifer Brunner might be getting ready to endorse Lee Fisher after all. If she wants to have a future in Democratic politics, she has to do this. If she fails to come through, this will be the kind of thing people remember forever.
CO-Gov: A challenging name for challenging times: Businessman Joe Gschwendtner is joining the GOP gubernatorial field, and he says he'll seed his campaign with $100K of his own scrilla.
OH-Gov: Dems keep making John Kasich feel the pain over his refusal to make public all of his tax returns. Now, a couple of state legislators are proposing a bill which would require all political candidates to disclose their returns as a condition of running for office. Kasich, you'll recall, briefly displayed a summary of his 2008 returns to reporters (who weren't allowed to photocopy it); he made $1.1 million for doing mostly nothing, including helping to drive Lehman Brothers into the ground.
CA-19, CA-20: Two stones, one bird: It looks like two GOP congressional hopefuls in neighboring districts broke federal election laws by taking a flight on a private corporate jet with none other than Karl Rove. That could turn out to be one expensive ride for State Sen. Jeff Denham of Atwater (CA-19) and cherry farmer Andy Vidak (CA-20).
DE-AL: Wilson Research Strategies did a poll of the GOP primary for developer Glen Urquhart, who is facing off against possibly rich businesswoman Michele Rollins. (I've heard she may have only inherited an income interest from her late - and exceedingly wealthy - husband's estate.) The poll showed Rollins leading 27-11 (with 60%) undecided.
FL-02: This is a little unexpected: Blue Dog Allen Boyd is running ads against his absurdly underfunded primary opponent, state Sen. Al Lawson. (Boyd has 29 times the cash that Lawson does.) Once again, though (say it with me), no word on the size of the buy.
FL-11: A fridge too far? NRCC honcho Pete Sessions is holding a fundraiser later this month in Tampa for one Mike Prendergast. Yeah, I ain't never heard o' him neither, but I guess he did raised about $100K in Q1, and incumbent Kathy Castor only has about $350K on hand. Still, this was a 66% Obama/58% Kerry district.
GA-09: In these dark-red districts, the most you can hope for is some hot wingnut-on-wingnut violence - and it looks like we're finally seeing some. The Club for Growth is running ads targeting ex-state Sen. Lee Hawkins, alleging (what else?) that he's not conservative enough and wouldn't sign a pledge to repeal healthcare reform. Hawkins fired back with a press release, charging that the CFG supports illegal immigration and that their favored candidate, ex-state Rep. Tom Graves, is their stooge.
IL-08: Local Republican leaders met with the already-imploded Joe Walsh to see what the eff was going on with his campaign... and they've decided to stick with him. While running into the Melissa Bean buzzsaw might not be that enticing (even in a cycle like this), several other candidates ran against Walsh in the primary, so a replacement ought to be possible. (Read here if you need background on the Walshsplosion.)
MO-06: Local businessman Clint Hylton will run as a Democrat against GOP Rep. Sam Graves. Graves obliterated one of our most highly-touted recruits last cycle, former Kansas City mayor Kay Barnes.
NM-01: Greenberg Quinlan Rosner (D) for Martin Heinrich (4/28-5/2, likely voters, no trendlines):
Martin Heinrich (D-inc): 55
Jon Barela (R): 38
Heinrich leads among Hispanics 68-24, who make up 35% of this sample. These are very nice numbers. Heinrich has over $1 million cash-on-hand, while Barela has under $400K.
MA-09: SEIU political director Mac D'Alessandro submitted 5,000 signatures as part of his nominating papers, but still needs an additional 2,000 by June 1 to qualify for the ballot. He's aiming to take on Rep. Stephen Lynch, who earned lifetime douchebag status by infamously switching from "yes" to "no" on the healthcare reform bill.
OH-18: 2008 loser Fred Dailey trails establishment fave Bob Gibbs by 164 votes after Tuesday's GOP primary, but there are still ballots left to be counted. In fact, provisionals and absentees, as long as they were postmarked on time, will still be accepted up until ten days after the election. No one knows how many ballots are outstanding, though. If the final margin is less than one half of one percent, there will be an automatic recount. Still, the odds have to be against Dailey - though a prolonged fight is probably good for Rep. Zack Space.
PA-06: While NARAL doesn't usually endorse in primaries, their former president, Kate Michelman, is backing Manan Trivedi over Doug Pike. Pike, in the past, has written columns that suggested he has wobbly views on reproductive choice. Other pieces of his have made very questionable remarks about women - click the link if you want the exact quotes. Pike says he "apologizes" for these columns, about the 99th time he's had to apologize for something on this campaign.
PA-12: Public Opinion Strategies (R) Tim Burns (5/4-5, likely voters, 3/15 in parens):
Mark Critz (D): 41 (41)
Tim Burns (R): 43 (45)
Undecided: 14 (13)
• CA-Sen, CA-Gov: There have been rumors about this before that didn't pan out, but based on the amount of chatter out there, it's seeming very likely all of a sudden: ex-Rep. Tom Campbell sounds poised to drop his gubernatorial bid (where he's been polling well, but is way financially outgunned) and move over to the Senate race. He sounds likely to announce this on Thursday, seeing as how he has said he will be appearing at a Los Angeles County GOP event then, but "not as a candidate for Governor." Weirdly, this could wind up helping Assemblyman Chuck DeVore in the Senate primary, as Campbell was one of three ostensible moderates (with no right-winger) in the Governor's race, but now Campbell and Carly Fiorina will be splitting the moderate vote in the Senate primary, potentially letting ultra-conservative DeVore crash the gate.
• FL-Sen: Marco Rubio has been winning his fair share of county GOP straw polls lately, but this one was more eagerly awaited than most, because it's Charlie Crist's home county. Rubio continues his winning streak, winning the straw poll in moderate-leaning Pinellas County (home of St. Petersburg) by a 106-54 margin.
• IL-Sen: This seems like a good get for David Hoffman, as he seeks to make up some ground on Alexi Giannoulias in the Senate primary: he got the Dem primary endorsements of both Chicago's major papers, the Tribune and Sun-Times (although getting the endorsement of the more conservative and anti-machine Tribune doesn't seem odd for Hoffman, given his reformist message). On the GOP side, Rep. Mark Kirk got an endorsement from one of his fellow moderates from the state delegation, downstate Rep. Timothy Johnson.
• MA-Sen: If you were thinking, in the wake of a couple good polls in Massachusetts, that it was safe to unbuckle your seatbelt and resume walking around the cabin, guess again. Republican state Sen. Scott Brown, taking a page from the Paulists, used the one-day "moneybomb" technique to good effect, raking in $1.1 million and basically ensuring he'll be able to stay on the air up until Election Day. Brown has yet another TV spot up on the air, in response to Coakley's first negative ad; Brown's firing back with the ol' "tsk, tsk on you for going negative" approach. Between the contradictory polls, Brown's fundraising, and other signs of life (like a Boston Herald endorsement for Brown - although that's not a surprise from the conservative Herald), the Beltway Dems have decided to leave nothing to chance, and are getting more involved, as the DNC is sending in some ground troops, and the DSCC is ponying up for $567K for more ad time for Coakley - meaning, in its own way, that the GOP already won a moral victory here by getting the DSCC to pry open its checkbook.
• NH-Sen: I don't know if anyone really cares one lick about what former Vice-President Dan Quayle is up to these days, but he popped up long enough to endorse Ovide Lamontagne in the GOP Senate primary in New Hampshire. Meanwhile, wealthy businessman Bill Binnie is tapping his own personal money to get a head start on the ad wars in the NH primary, with an introductory bio spot.
• NV-Sen: For a while there, it was looking like Harry Reid was even starting to have some trouble within his caucus, as Russ Feingold publicly criticized Reid yesterday over his insensitive language regarding Barack Obama, wondering out loud if he should continue as Majority Leader. Feingold dialed it back a little today, though, saying that he supports Reid staying on it that role. With Chris Cillizza today joining many other pundits in wondering if the fork is ready to be stuck in Reid, there comes word (buried in a longer Politico story), via anonymous sources, of a "a whisper campaign in Nevada that it would be possible for him to step aside and find someone else who could win."
• NY-Sen-B: Ex-Rep. Harold Ford Jr. is beating the Senate drum a little louder today, saying in a New York Post (interesting choice of venue) that he's "strongly considering" the race. In an interview with Chris Mathews, he also had his version of the "Ich bin ein Berliner" moment, enunciating that "I am a New Yorker, I am a New Yorker." (Although I believe, in the local dialect, that's pronounced "Hey! I'm a fuggin' New Yorker here already, now step off!")
• MA-Gov (pdf): Hot on the heels of the MA-Gov poll from the Boston Globe comes another one from PPP, part of its MA-Sen sample. Their sample finds incumbent Dem Deval Patrick in slightly worse position than the Globe (with an awful 22/59 approval), although he's still in the lead. Interestingly, this poll also sees the Republicans in much better shape than the Globe did, as independent candidate Tim Cahill slouches into third place here. Patrick leads GOPer Charlie Baker and Cahill 29-27-21, while in a Patrick/Cahill/Christy Mihos three-way, Cahill moves into second with a 28-25-21 outcome. (This certainly points to the composition difference between the PPP sample, which may have overweighted Republicans, and the Globe/UNH sample, which may have overweighted Democrats. The Senate special election results may give us a clue which of these MA-Gov polls is closer.) PPP also tested Democratic SoS William Galvin as a replacement for Patrick, finding little difference, with a 26-26-18 race among Galvin, Baker, and Cahill, and a 26-22-20 race among Galvin, Cahill, and Mihos.
• MN-Gov: The Republican field in the Minnesota governor's race may actually be dwindling down into the single digits, as things sort themselves out. Former Auditor Pat Anderson is dropping her gubernatorial bid, and instead is looking at a return to her old job. She'll be running against Democratic incumbent Rebecca Otto, who unseated Anderson in 2006.
• RI-Gov: Things are getting pretty dire for the Reupblicans in Rhode Island, where former Cranston mayor (and 2006 Senate primary candidate) Stephen Laffey decided for the second time that he isn't going to run for Governor. With businessman Rory Smith's dropout, the GOP still has nobody here, although salvation may be coming in the form of current Gov. Don Carcieri's communications director, John Robitaille, who is filling the gap by filing as a candidate. (Robitaille's only political experience is losing a state Rep. race in 2006.) Meanwhile, Josh Goodman has been wondering if independent candidate Lincoln Chafee, while a former Republican, might actually run to the left of the Democrat in this race (telegraphed by his statements on possible tax hikes). A local consultant tells Goodman that Chafee may in fact get labor backing on the race, perhaps depending on which Dem Chafee faces. (Chafee might get labor support if he's against Treasurer Frank Caprio, although the more liberal AG Patrick Lynch would probably have a lock on labor support if he survives the Dem primary.)
• LA-02: The prospect is lessening for a free-for-all Democratic primary in New Orleans for what's likely to be an easy race to defeat GOP incumbent Rep. Joe Cao. State Rep. Cedric Richmond seems to be locking down establishment support as a consensus candidate here, and that was underscored by an endorsement from former Sen. John Breaux. Fellow state Rep. Juan LaFonta is still in the primary, but state Rep. Karen Carter Peterson (who took Bill Jefferson to a runoff in 2006) is running for state Senate instead of LA-02, and none of Richmond's 2008 primary opponents seem to be getting in the race.
• PA-06: After earlier vows that he wouldn't get out the GOP primary in the 6th despite the re-entry of incumbent Rep. Jim Gerlach, yesterday state Rep. Curt Schroder saw the fundraising-related handwriting on the wall and got out of the race. With former Revenue Secretary Howard Cohen and Lower Merion Twp. Commissioner Scott Zelov already having stood down, that leaves only self-funder Steven Welch and several some-dudes in Gerlach's way.
• RI-01: Maybe he's been comparing notes with Jim Traficant on how to restart your political career after spending several years in prison. Republican former Providence mayor Buddy Cianci, fresh off of four and a half years in jail over criminal acts while mayor, is now considering a challenge to Rep. Patrick Kennedy.
• VA-09: Despite having dodged a bullet with state Del. Terry Kilgore deciding against a run, Rep. Rick Boucher may still have to avoid some incoming fire in November. The state House's majority leader, Morgan Griffith, said he's "considering" the race and may get in if someone stronger doesn't. (Since the only other person who's probably stronger is state Sen. William Wampler Jr., and it doesn't sound like he'll run in the 9th, as he's probably banking on a Republican takeover of the state Senate soon, in which case he'd become Finance chair, it may in fact fall to Griffith.) Griffith does have one slight problem: he doesn't live in the 9th, although he's apparently within walking distance of the district lines.
• FL-CFO: Florida Democrats finally found a CFO candidate to help round out their slate of candidates: former state Rep. Loranne Ausley, who decided on a CFO run and ended her state Senate bid. The bigger implication is that state Sen. Al Lawson - who's flirted off and on with a CFO bid - is probably staying for good in the FL-02 primary now. (Interestingly, Ausley, like Lawson, hails from the Tallahassee area.)
• OH-Auditor: Buzz in Ohio is that incumbent Mary Taylor (the only statewide Republican right now) is going to drop a bid for another term as Auditor and run as John Kasich's running mate for Lt. Governor instead. This probably strengthens Kasich's bid against incumbent Dem Ted Strickland... but an open Auditor seat is also good news for the Dems, as Hamilton Co. Commissioner David Pepper was already running a strong race against Taylor. Remember that the Auditor is one of the seats on Ohio's state legislative redistricting board, so an Auditor pickup would compensate there for a loss at Governor or SoS (but not both).
• MT-St. Sen.: The Missoulian has a very early look at prospects in the state legislature in Montana. Because of the open seat situation in the Senate, Democrats might have a shot at retaking that body (the GOP controls 27-23). Of the 25 seats up this year, 16 are held by Republicans and 9 by Democrats, with a total of 15 of the 25 being open seats.
• VA-St. Sen.: Two special elections are on tap for tonight, one of which is very interesting. The 37th, a swingy area in suburban Fairfax County, was left vacant by new Republican AG Ken Cuccinelli; it's being contested by Democratic Del. Dave Marsden and Republican former Fairfax Co. School Board member Steve Hunt. There are echoes of the gubernatorial race here, as Marsden is running a moderate-enough campaign that he may be at risk of losing the base's interest, while Hunt is trying to downplay controversial social conservative remarks from his past. Hunt has an internal poll showing him up, and Dem enthusiasm may still be down thanks to the post-Creigh Deeds hangover, so the GOP seems poised to eke this one out, helping them to keep holding the Dems to a narrow 21-19 edge in the Senate. The other race is in the solid-red 8th in Virginia Beach, where GOP businessman Jeff McWaters should have little problem beating Democratic Bill Fleming to replace Republican Ken Stolle, who just became Virginia Beach Sheriff.
• NRCC: The NRCC bumped up four more challengers in their "Young Guns" framework today, most prominently a move to "Contender" (the 2nd of three tiers) for Jim Renacci, challenging Rep. John Boccieri in OH-16. Also entering at the lowest level ("On the Radar") are former FBI agent Mike Grimm, running in NY-13, state Sen. Dan Debicella, running in CT-04, and state Rep. John Loughlin, running in RI-01 against Rep. Patrick Kennedy. That last entry may seem like the longest of long shots; it may in fact be more of a deterrent by the NRCC to keep Buddy Cianci (see above) from running here, and the accompanying bad PR that would go with that.
• Redistricting: Martin Frost's former CoS, Matt Angle, is the center of Democratic efforts to un-gerrymander Texas's House map after the 2010 census. Roll Call looks in depth at how he's built a complex fundraising network that's primarily aimed at Democratic gains in the state House (where they are down only 77-73), so Dems can get a better share of the four seats Texas is expected to add.
• Grant money: People with a professional interest in studying Congress might want to apply for research grants available from the Dirksen Congressional Center. It sounds particularly oriented toward graduate students and fellows, but I'm sure some of SSP's readership fits that bill.
• Election results: A lot happened last night, most prominently Martha Coakley's victory in the MA-Sen Democratic primary, with 47% of the vote to Michael Capuano's 28, Alan Khazei's 13, and Stephen Paglicua's 12. Coakley is poised to become the Bay State's first female Senator; the big question for the Jan. 19 general is whether Republican state Sen. Scott Brown (who won the GOP nod 88-12 over Jack E. Robinson) can break 40%. In Kentucky, the Dems' run of pickups in the state Senate came to a screeching halt, as Jodie Haydon lost to GOP state Rep. Jimmy Higdon 56-44 in a previously GOP-held open seat in SD-14, so the Senate's composition stays at 20 (plus 1 GOP-leaning indie) to 17 in favor of the GOP. The GOP also picked up a previously Dem-held seat in the state House, HD-96. Republicans also retained SD-4 in Arkansas's dark-red northwest. In Birmingham, Alabama's mayoral race advances to a runoff between attorney (and 2007 loser) Patrick Cooper and Jefferson County Commissioner William Bell. And in Los Angeles, Assemblyman Paul Krekorian won a vacant City Council seat despite being widely outspent by Christine Essel -- which sets up an Assembly special election and temporarily leaves Dems there shy one seat.
• AR-Sen: With some encouragement from labor and the netroots, it looks like Lt. Gov. Bill Halter may actually be moving forward on plans to mount a Democratic primary challenge to Blanche Lincoln from the left. He's in Washington DC meeting with labor officials and blogosphere leaders.
• FL-Sen: In more evidence of Charlie Crist's willingness to take money from anyone, a mailer from a big fundraiser hosted for Crist by Broward County developer Ron Bergeron headlined one particular large contributor: Joseph Cobo, the Broward County Health Commissioner who's currently under criminal investigation for corruption. Cobo was quickly removed from the host committee and Crist's camp said the mailer was a "draft" mistakenly sent.
• OH-Sen: David Plouffe, one of the architects of Barack Obama's campaign, has weighed into the Democratic Senate primary (despite not having any obvious connections to Ohio). Plouffe endorsed Lee Fisher over Jennifer Brunner in a fundraising e-mail, perhaps suggesting subtle White House moves to consolidate things behind Fisher and start gearing up for the general.
• AK-Gov: It was clear that newly-appointed Gov. Sean Parnell was going to face a primary fight with a member of the state's political establishment, but the surprise today seems to be which one. Former state House speaker Ralph Samuels announced he's running for Governor today. In summer, another former speaker, John Harris, had said he was going to run against Parnell, but today's ADN article makes no mention of Harris; it does list Bill Walker and Gerald Heikes as other GOP candidates. The flashpoint in the Parnell/Samuels race appears to be oil industry taxes imposed by that known tax-and-spend liberal, Sarah Palin; Parnell supports continuation of them while Samuels wants an end.
• IL-Gov, IL-Sen: In the Democratic gubernatorial primary, incumbent Pat Quinn picked up some Chicago-area endorsements, from Rep. Danny Davis and an array of aldermen; he also recently got the Sierra Club's nod. His opponent, Comptroller Dan Hynes, however, got an endorsement from a major union, the Illinois Federation of Teachers, and a victory of sorts by getting the AFL-CIO to not endorse. The AFL-CIO did, however, just endorse Alexi Giannoulias in the Senate race.
• NH-Gov: As expected, social conservative activist Karen Testerman launched her bid for Governor in New Hampshire. She brings some name recognition to the race based on her radio show and a long track record of religious right rabble-rousing, but isn't expected to pose much of a challenge for Democratic incumbent John Lynch as he seeks a barely-precedented fourth term.
• FL-02: Faced with the realization that state Sen. Al Lawson is staying in the Democratic primary race no matter what, Rep. Allen Boyd is taking advantage of his big cash edge to run a TV spot already. Despite his vote against health care reform last month, he's running an ad that's basically pro-HCR (although with the GOP-sounding hedges thrown in there).
• IL-14: It didn't take long for the last remaining minor player to bail out of the GOP field in the 14th, the third in a week. Jeff Danklefsen will apparently be taking his name of the ballot, and endorsing state sen. Randy Hultgren. Hultgren's camp is also keeping an eye on Mark Vargas, who dropped out but endorsed Ethan Hastert; they want to make sure Vargas actually pulls his name off the ballot instead of remaining on there and splitting the anti-Hastert vote.
• KS-02: Because even when you vote the conservative position 95% of the time, that's just not conservative enough... freshman Republican Rep. Lynn Jenkins, already facing a credible Democratic challenge in the form of state Sen. Laura Kelly, may now face a primary challenge from state Sen. Dennis Pyle, who filed candidacy papers last week. (Former state Treasurer Jenkins was from the "moderate" wing of the party in Kansas, and beat religious right ex-Rep. Jim Ryun in the 2008 primary.)
• MD-01: Something seems amiss at the Andy Harris camp, as he prepares for a rematch against Dem freshman Rep. Frank Kratovil; his campaign manager, Mike Spellings hit the road. Other insiders say it was just a personality clash.
• NJ-02: I don't know if anyone was counting on Democratic state Sen. Jeff Van Drew making his long-awaited run against Rep. Frank LoBiondo next year, but the question was asked. Van Drew says "the likelihood is not there," but didn't completely rule it out.
• PA-07: Here's what the GOP establishment had been hoping to avoid: the possibility of a contested primary in the open 7th, where the field was painstakingly cleared for former US Attorney Pat Meehan. Dawn Stensland, the former news anchor for the Philly Fox affiliate, says she's considering a run for the Republican nomination. Unfortunately for her, she comes with her own built-in attention-grabbing scandal relating to her husband, another local news anchor, having an affair with yet another competing local news anchor.
• CT-Sen: Linda McMahon is in Washington DC this week to meet with Republican bigwigs about her bid for the Senate in Connecticut, meeting with Mitch McConnell, Jon Kyl, Orrin Hatch, and the knuckle-draggers at FreedomWorks. McMahon's visit is accompanied, however, by stories in The Hill and Politico that focus on professional wrestling's dangerous conditions, and lack of health insurance or union representation -- and are replete with quotes from former wrestlers decrying McMahon and her company.
• KS-Sen: The previous few rounds of polling for Rep. Todd Tiahrt in the Kansas GOP Senate primary haven't looked so hot, but the newest offering from SurveyUSA finds him back in the thick of things. Rep. Jerry Moran now leads Tiahrt 37-34, compared with a 43-27 gap in early October. Crosstabs suggest Tiahrt has pulled back into a tie in Kansas's northeast (the Kansas City suburbs) -- with Moran dominating the rural west and Tiahrt dominating the Wichita area, the KC suburbs are the decisive region.
• OR-Gov: State Republican leaders are still casting their nets about, despite former NBA player Chris Dudley bringing a lot of money to the table. With some troubled that Dudley "has not delivered any ideas at all" (and with their best-known candidate, Bill Sizemore, having gotten arraigned for tax evasion yesterday) many have now set their sights on state House minority leader Bruce Hanna, a conservative from the state's rural southwest; Hanna says he's "listening with interest" to their entreaties.
In the you-can't-make-this-stuff-up department, Jerry Wilson, founder of exercise machine maker Soloflex, was originally going to run for Governor under the banner of Oregon's Naderite Progressive Party, but somewhere along the way decided it would be better to run for one of the major party noms so he'd have a better chance, and inexplicably decided to run for a Republican. Wilson just found out that he missed the deadline by several months to change his party registration to be able to do so (he's a Democrat), so now he's decided to run as a Democrat. (The pro-marijuana Wilson might want to, y'know, lay off it a little while he's trying to put together a political campaign.) Also on the Dem side, the state's AFL-CIO announced that it won't be endorsing in the race until at least March, which has to be seen as a victory of sorts for ex-SoS Bill Bradbury in that they don't view ex-Gov. John Kitzhaber as having the nomination locked down and are waiting to see how things shake out.
• TX-Gov: With heavyweight Houston mayor Bill White having settled into the Democratic field in the Governor's race, the remaining candidates are assessing their options. Kinky Friedman was expected to drop out today, but announced that he'll take at least a few more days to meet with supporters, and with White and Farouk Shami, before pulling the plug. (Shami was a big donor to Friedman last time.) The independently wealthy Shami sounds like he's staying in, although he's now suffering the usual fate of celebrity business candidates: the revelation of his paltry voting record (including no vote in the 2008 general, and no votes in any Democratic primary elections, with at least one in a Republican primary instead). And on the GOP side, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, faced with the realization that the Senate election may not be happening any time soon, just filed for re-election to another term as LG.
• FL-02: That was fast. (And not very good message discipline, either.) After confirming yesterday that he was considering a move over to Florida's statewide CFO race, Democratic state Sen. Al Lawson backtracked today and said he's sticking with his longshot primary challenge to Rep. Allen Boyd instead.
• ID-01: An intramural fight is breaking out among Idaho Republican legislators, as state Rep. Raul Labrador seeks the Republican nomination to take on Rep. Walt Minnick next year. State Sen. Mike Jorgenson is demanding Labrador drop out, attacking him for his work as a -- gasp -- immigration lawyer; the two have previously clashed over immigration policy in the legislature, including Jorgenson's proposal to bar illegal immigrants from receiving state benefits. There's no clue given where Labrador's opponent, Vaughn Ward, stands on immigration issues, but it's interesting to see the same cheap-labor/close-the-borders fissures opening up here that erupted in, say, the UT-03 primary last year.
• IL-14: One more dropout in the GOP field in the 14th, as young Mark Vargas, a former Defense Dept. employee in Iraq, got out of the race. Unlike other recent dropout Bill Purcell, though, Vargas endorsed Ethan Hastert on his way out the door. Jeff Danklefsen is the only minor player left on the playing field between Hastert and state Sen. Randy Hultgren.
• NJ-03: The 5'9" John Adler is certainly vulnerable to wedgies and wet willies from the 6'7" Jon Runyan, but now he's vulnerable to the dreaded Rear Admiral as well. Maurice "Mo" Hill, a Toms River Township Councilor, dentist, and retired Navy rear admiral, says he'll likely run in the GOP primary against Runyan, despite local party leaders' hopes to avoid a contested primary like the one that sank their hopes last year. Hill says he'll move forward if he gets the backing of his local Ocean County party, regardless of how the other counties' organizations go.
• PA-06: Chester County Recorder of Deeds Ryan Costello bailed out on his run in the GOP field in the 6th, finding all the oxygen in the race gobbled up by self-funding moderate Steven Welch and well-known conservative state Rep. Curt Schroder. Schroder, meanwhile, nailed down the endorsements of two more Republican legislators in the area: Berks County state Sen. Mike Folmer and newly-elected state Montgomery County Sen. Bob Mensch.
• SC-01: Another Republican is getting into the primary against vulnerable Rep. Henry Brown in the Charleston-area 1st (joining "Tumpy" Campbell): attorney, Navy vet, and former Mt. Pleasant city councilor Mark Fava. Could this have the effect of splitting the anti-Brown vote, though? On the Dem side, restauranteur Robert "Bob" Dobbs was joined several weeks ago by commercial pilot and Air Force vet Robert Burton.
• TN-08: State Sen. Roy Herron isn't getting a completely free shot in his primary to replace retiring Rep. John Tanner in rural western Tennessee: he'll face off against 34-year-old Luther Mercer II, an educator and son of a Madison County Commissioner. Meanwhile, eager to generate more Tanners, the GOP has unveiled its target list of aging House Democrats in red districts to push to retire (mostly just via press release attacks for now -- perhaps there will also be a sustained attempt to blanket their offices with brochures for oceanfront Florida condominiums as well). Recall, though, that Tanner said the prospect of a good fight was the one thing that was potentially keeping him from retiring, suggesting this has the potential to backfire in some cases.
• Mayors: Lt. Governor Mitch Landrieu had said this summer that he wouldn't seek to become the next mayor of New Orleans. When most other big-names like city council president Arnie Fielkow and state Rep. Karen Carter Peterson subsequently declined, Landrieu apparently sensed a mayoralty for the taking. Now he's apparently changed his mind, and says he'll launch a mayoral campaign next week. (Landrieu narrowly lost the mayor's race to Ray Nagin in 2006.)
• WATN?: 80-year-old former New York state Sen. majority leader Joe Bruno, who turned Albany into his personal fiefdom for decades, just got convicted of two felony corruption charges. And former Rep. Chip Pickering, one of the C Street House residents who bailed from a promising career after an embarrassing affair, is staying classy. He was last seen getting into a physical altercation at his young son's soccer game -- with an opposing team's soccer coach already wearing a neck brace.
Mega-Blue Dog Allen Boyd may have a much easier route to re-election:
Florida state Sen. Al Lawson has confirmed to the St. Petersburg Times that he is considering switching from challenging Rep. Allen Boyd (D-Fla.) to the state chief financial officer race.
Democrats have struggled to find someone to run for outgoing CFO Alex Sink's (D) post while she runs for governor. And Lawson has found it difficult to raise the money needed to run a primary against an incumbent congressman.
This comes as a bit of a surprise, as Lawson had posted an internal poll a few weeks ago giving him a 35-31 lead over Boyd, suggesting he was engaged with the race and had incentive to stay in it. (The Democratic electorate in the 2nd is substantially African-American, giving Lawson an advantage there.) As The Hill notes, though, Lawson is at a terrible financial disadvantage ($78,000, versus Boyd's $1.7 million), and that gives Lawson -- who's termed out of the state Senate and looking for somewhere to move up -- an incentive to switch over to a race where he'd be running with establishment backing instead of against it.
So: bad news for those hoping to replace a Blue Dog with a (somewhat) Better Dem... although if Lawson won the primary, he might have had a rough time of it in the general in this R+6 9 district. On the other hand, good news for Dems trying to make a full court press for all the statewide offices in Florida, with current CFO Alex Sink at the top of the ticket.